Wed. Oct. 20, 2021

The Whatnauts – Help Is On The Way

Most Wanted! The Whatnauts – Help Is On The Way (Harlem International Records Inc.)

Unless havin’ lived in a desert island for the last 40 years, chances are great you’ve heard this jam. And if not, Fat Larry’s Band, De La Soul, Deni Hines or Beverley Knight among others. Meaning that the latter all have in common the fact that they either interpolated or sampled this song. Be it on ‘Act Like You Know’, ‘Ring, Ring, Ring’, ‘It’s Alright’ or ‘Greatest Day’ respectively…

Responsible for this goodie, The Whatnauts. A band whose music has been regularly sampled. Beginning with ‘Why Can’t People Be Colors Too?’ by A Tribe Called Quest on their 1994 released ‘Oh My God’ album featuring Busta Rhymes.

Written by drummer James Stanley Carter who was a member of Teddy Pendergrass‘ band, ‘Help Is On The Way’ is The Whatnauts‘ last significant piece of music. Produced by Thom Bridwell, it received a(nother) brilliant mixing work by the likes of the late Tee Scott.

Dropping 3 minor releases on Baltimore-based label Pic Hit Record Corporation, The Whatnauts totally disappeared from the radars in the mid 80’s.

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Baltimore, MD-based Carlos Herndon, Garnett Jones and Gerard Pinkney gave birth to The Whatnauts back in 1969. They released their debut-single – the socially conscious ‘Message From A Black Man’ – the year after on A&I International. Then, they signed a record deal with Stang Records where they released 3 albums, from 1970 to 1972. Their biggest classics from then are ‘Please Make The Love Go Away’ and ‘I’ll Erase Away Your Pain’ in 1971. And last but not least, the memorable ‘Girls’ credited to Moments & Whatnauts.

They might be best remembered by the younger generations for the 1981 released ‘Help Is On The Way’ with mixing work courtesy of Tee Scott. A cut given an interpolation the year after by Fat Larry’s Band on ‘Act Like You Know’. But also sampled by De La Soul on the memorable ‘Ring, Ring, Ring (Ha Ha Hey)4 in 1991. Not to mention Deni Hines on ‘It’s Alright’ 4 years after. Then Beverley Knight on ‘Greatest Day’ back in 1998.

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